Parents' Guide to

5 Flights Up

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Slow-moving relationship drama with little at stake.

Movie PG-13 2015 92 minutes
5 Flights Up Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Sweet & Heartfelt

5 Flights Up is a refreshingly different take on an interracial, mature relationship between a Black artist & his White retired schoolteacher wife. The main plot of the film is that they plan to sell their apartment in Brooklyn, but during the weekend of their open house you see their mental flashbacks of meeting, starting their relationship, their losses & struggles, etc. & they run into several roadblocks along the way. The way the story is told is in a refreshingly non-racist way, with very little mention of the "racial difference" between them. Plus, even though the couple is mature, the issues of being a mature couple are touched on in a sensitive way. Overall, the film had a good, relatable story, great actors and a terrific ending. Very satisfying & a good movie for all families, including grandparents & great-grandparents, but I would recommend it for kids over age 9-10, depending on their maturity, of course! So I really recommend it!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Not much happens in 5 FLIGHTS UP, and there's little resolution. The movie shows a long-married couple during a time of great change; moving is the kind of big experience that taxes any relationship, even a kind and loving connection like Ruth and Alex's. They fight, but they do so with love. Freeman and Keaton have a great rapport, bringing to life the kind of happy people that you'd want to hang out with. Their bond is the best part of the movie.

The rest of the film disappoints. Cynthia Nixon's pushy real-estate agent, though improved by the talented actress, feels like a stock character, as do the the stream of lookie-loos who stop by to check out the apartment. (The real estate "issues" seem manufactured at best, and inaccurate at worst.) The bigger issue is that there seems to be little at stake here. The movie never makes it really clear why Alex and Ruth want to sell their home -- besides being on a high floor, that is -- so when they start to have second thoughts, we wonder why they were doing it in the first place. In the end, the movie just shows a few days in the life of a couple we don't mind spending time with but don't truly get to know, either.

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